Posts Tagged 'Wine Tasting'

Day Trips Around Florence, Italy

Studying abroad in Florence? Lucky You! Honestly, there’s no real need to venture outside the city. If you do feel adventurous, however, you will find several beautiful towns an hour bus or train ride away. A few come to mind: Fiesole, Siena, and Lucca. Of course, you can also visit the tower of Pisa or the Torture Museum in San Gimignano.

Fiesole

Built into the hills above Florence, Fiesole is a great escape from the summer heat and offers beautiful views overlooking Florence. Feel like walking around? Fiesole has an archeology park with a Roman amphitheater and Roman, Etruscan, and Longabard ruins.

A Real Taste of Italy

A Real Taste of Italy

A great day trip includes a wine tasting-bike tour. Tuscany Bike Tours offers daily trips from March to November. The day starts with a shuttle pick-up near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. The tour includes a castle visit, a bike ride through Tuscany, wine tasting, oil tasting, and a grand lunch feast with pastas and a little more wine. It’s hard to tell what’s more inviting, the scenery or the Tuscan cuisine.

Siena

This medieval hill town is one of the most popular in Tuscany. During the summer Siena’s large fan-shaped Piazza del Campo turns into a track for the famous Il Palio horse race. Siena is also home to a beautiful cathedral, pedestrian streets with shops, and the second highest medieval bell tower in Italy (it’s a good 505 step hike to the top).  The top of the tower offers amazing views of the city.  Piazza del Duomo is another beautiful square and home to Siena’s Duomo. Siena’s art museum, Pinacoteca Nazionale, also houses some of Italy’s greatest paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Lucca

Lucca is Well Known for Puccini and Pinocchio

Lucca is Known for Puccini and Pinocchio

Lucca remains one of the best-preserved Italian walled cities. The wall itself has walking and bike paths and gardens, which surround the historic city center. A climb to the top of Guinigi Tower provides fabulous views of the city.  Lucca is less touristy than most cities and has several “pedestrian only” streets. For history geeks, Lucca was the birthplace of the famous Italian operatic composer, Giacomo Puccini. His music often fills the air in the town’s main square. If you like art, visit the city’s Duomo, which houses paintings by Ghirlandaio, Tintoretto, Zuccari and Fra’ Bartolomeo, as well as Iacopo della Quercia’s most famous work, the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto.

Lucca is also a great place to find Italian pottery and ceramics (great gifts to bring home)!

If you need help planning your dream trip to Italy, check out Gulliver’s “Prepare to Go” section. You’ll find information on housing, cell phones, funding, and insurance.  The more you accomplish before you leave, the better your trip will be!


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